A Doncaster couple who left their dogs to die in a cage without food or water have been banned from keeping animals.
Aaron Wielding, aged 25, and 21-year-old Selina Ferguson had kept the two dogs in a cage in the back garden of their Edlington home for a number of months before they were found dead by a RSPCA officer in February, Doncaster Magistrates’ Court heard.
The court was told Ferguson let the inspector in to the garden, where there was a mesh pen which had a padlock on it.
There were numerous items stacked against it but the officer could see the body of one underweight dog.
When Inspector Sandra Dransfield inspected the cage she found the remains of another dog.
The animals were later identified as Rosie, an 18-month-old brindle bull breed, and an American bulldog called Buster.
The court heard Rosie had eaten her companion’s remains in a failed attempt to get the food she needed to live, which had ultimately prolonged her suffering.
She died of starvation, dehydration and hypothermia.
It is likely Buster died of the same causes.
The court heard Wielding told inspectors: “I feel ashamed and am absolutely disgusted with myself that I let this happen.”
Inspector Dransfield said: “This was an appalling case that will stay with me for a long time.
“Poor Rosie and Buster had been locked in the cage in the garden through freezing temperatures without any food and left there to die in complete filth.
“Buster, the larger of the two dogs, died first, and in desperation for food Rosie was forced to eat his remains.
“All we found of him was the upper and lower jaw and atlas bones which had gnaw marks on them.
“When I visited the home I asked Wielding for the key to the cage and he went straight to it, which shows he could easily have done the same to feed the dogs and look after them. He just chose not to.”
Wielding and Ferguson, who have three children, admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering.
Wielding, who admitted being the dogs’ primary carer, was jailed for 16 weeks, ordered to pay £1,000 costs and an £80 victim surcharge and banned from keeping dogs for life.
As well as a similar ban, Ferguson was handed a 10-week custodial sentence, suspended for a year, a rehabilitation order, curfew and told to pay £400 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.